As of 2018, if you search for “Sento” public baths online, you get articles with polar opposite topics. On one hand, there are the people saddened by the decrease of Sentos over the years; on the other, Sentos are a trendy spots for hip young locals. The data supports this: from 2005 to 2017, the number of Sentos in Tokyo has halved from 1,025 to 562, but the number of overall bathers has slowly seen an increase.
Me personally, I’ve been frequenting Sentos for both physical and mental health reasons, and quite frankly, because they make you feel great. But I also wondered if there were other reasons behind the current Sento boom, and wanted to ask the owners and preachers who are in the middle of the movement, what is it that keeps this extremely niche yet historical business going.
Sources: Tokyo Kurashi Web